13 April 2015
As mustering and trucking cattle hits full swing across the Northern Territory, some of the major stock routes in Central Australia remain a problem.
AUDIO: Mark Castagna, manager of a major Northern Territory trucking company said stock routes are still a problem as mustering and trucking of cattle hits full swing in 2015.(ABC Rural)
Mark Castagna from Tanami Transport, said the Tanami road and parts of the Plenty Highway were in a terrible state.
The Federal and NT Government announced $40 million late last year to seal around 150 kilometres of the Plenty Highway from the Stuart Highway to Harts Range.
Work is yet to commence.
Mr Castagna said some stock routes were almost unusable and that was not good, particularly at this time of year.
“We’re getting a lot of orders for cattle going every which way,” he said.
“If the roads stay rough, our maintenance bill goes up.
“We’ve got to take that on the chin, we can’t add more on to the cartage.
“So really, we’re out of pocket.”
Mr Castagna admits the poor road quality is affecting his business expansion plans and could see him having to use alternative routes.
“If it gets too rough, we just refuse to go there,” he said.
“We’ll pick an alternative route like further north around the bitumen, but that’ll be more cost to the pastoralist.
“A truck’s worth $450,000 and you don’t want to take it out there and wreck it, so we’re keeping to the old stuff [trucks].”
Courtesy of ABC Rural